I talk you talk we'll talk



Rick o’ the Wisp

(x = space)



Rick o’ the Wisp


Even so quickly may one catch the plague?

Olivia in Twelfth Night


Happy Birthday, Master Shakespeare

Squire Shakespeare



Will o’ the Wisp

I’m visiting my brother today

He has cancer

I’ll be you knew of cancer

Even called it that

(unlike in a later age consumption for


I can’t recall it from a play

Or poem

But then I hardly know them all

And as it is,

I’m tired and not thinking

Did Lear get sick with something?

Lady Macbeth?

Or the thane?

Was there a balm for the queen

In Merry Wives of Windsor?

Did all of us feel better

In the panoply of spirits

That concludes The Tempest?

Or were we simply reminded

Of a world that isn’t ours


Or remaining

Chastely distant,

Keeping to our own?

Well, a

Happy birthday to you, anyway

I’m visiting my brother today

He has cancer


C L Couch



Photo by Enrique Alarcon on Unsplash


While in Mariana’s Grange

(x = space)



While in Mariana’s Grange


Hello, day

It’s been a night of wakefulness

Then I drifted off

Onto waters of forgetfulness

Except for dreams

That now I’m here

I am forgetting, too


But here’s remembrance:

I’m waking up

To what I left

And whom

There is no ignorance

Everything returns

I must learn again

How to contain

In flesh

Everything I bear

And had left

Only for a while

For angels lifting up

And demons bearing down


C L Couch



Mariana in the Moated Grange

John Everett Millais

painting dated 1851

the image is in the Public Domain

the painting hangs in the Tate in London


Signed, Shakespeare

(x = space)



Signed, Shakespeare


It never happened

Maybe for some real estate

Or for companion ownership

In buildings,

In a theatre


The printing press came ‘round

At last

And with it the first suits

For plagiarizing

But his world

Her world

Dealt in manuscripts

Of which we don’t have any


For who would want them

When the players

And producers

Are all done with them

And we’ve moved on

In the production season?


So who was he

Or she?

Shakespeare was

As in existence

And we fight over that


What’s in an origin?

Ask mothers: they can

Tell you

In love and in labor,

There is a person


We have the plays as progeny

Thirty-eight or thirty-nine

And all the poetry


Was the name a pun—with a

Shaky hand, a quill (a spear) to write?


Maybe it’s to say

I do not care;

How much do you?

I think he was

And is through text

And liveliest




Happy box offices

And officers

Plus venues and listeners

For poetry


Signed, Shakespeare

Has not happened for us

Yet or will

(or Will)

But when the flag is flying

And the gun has sounded,

We go in


Maybe there will be oranges

To eat

Because they do not rhyme


C L Couch


Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash


Birth(Death)day Bard

Birth(Death)day Bard

(23 April in the UK and elsewhere)


If we sang his birthday, someone

Would be owed money for


There seems to be an economy to

The celebration

Since his birth day and his death day

Go as one

Without certitude

(certified baptism- and death-date)


Happy birthday, Queen’s man and King’s man

Patronized by both, though she

Would have Falstaff again,

Whom she was given in The Merry Wives of Windsor


All the world’s not a stage, and we

Are more than seven stages (ages), though

You wrote these in jest

From a character whose

Attitude we should not replicate

Like the speaker who opined

“To thine own self be true”

How many of your jokes do we take

For relevant advice?


Well, four hundred fifty-five

Your candled cake—your

Company would need to help take up the


While your dark lady rises

From the smoke of mystery that follows

(end of medieval, start of



You cannot say good or bad day

Birth or death day

Even though we wish you well (I think,

after the school-essay’s done)


And if my words offend

(however parenthetically)

Here’s how I mend:


From Robin, Good day, Will

And I am done, until


C L Couch



Connormah, William Shakespeare – self-made, vectorized from existing PNG/JPG files, Public Domain,


Jacki K Day Five

A story about a trip with an image from Google to go with.

Once my sister and I drove and rode to Stratford, Ontario. Stratford is a small town west of London (Ontario) and a good ways west of Toronto. During the season, there is a drama festival there. There are several theatres in town, all of which give productions in repertory. So one can see things, many things, in only a few days’ time.

The dramas are world-class. They are reviewed in publications from around the world. Production quality is amazing. Whether in the round or behind a proscenium, set pieces move like magic, becoming places, overall, of many levels for actors’ interactions and actions. I say actions because, when histories or tragedies are given, the staged fighting is visceral and intense.

In addition to after-theatre fare, a reward in Stratford is walking through the town during the day. There are many places to visit. Many stores, of course, some selling products in pewter whose source was Saint Mary’s, the next-door town. But it was the bookstores that really were the treat. There were several and, whether new or used, the variety and quality of inventory was so delightful to ingest.

My sister and I saw a production of The Tempest that we still talk about with wistful fondness. And we talk about our last dinner in Stratford. We were both poor (I’m still poor), but I let Amy talk me into going to an extravagant French-styled restaurant. (Mostly, Stratford has an anglified feel.) She was right about making the investment of money and time. The meal experience was fantastic. Fantastique, I guess.

During this trip, my sister talked with me a great deal about a man she had met and was planning to marry. I didn’t know much about him, since Amy and I were living in different cities; she was busy working after graduate school, while I was busy getting ready to go. But I learned much now and was pleased she was willing to share so much. She also told me how this man reminded her of me. Always something impressive for a brother to hear.

A pre-Raphaelite painting depicting the play The Tempest. The discovery of Bermuda by the English (in a shipwreck-ing storm) was the inspiration for the play.

( at Google Images)

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